Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney (Nintendo DS)

Phoenix Wright is a bit an odd title for Western gamers, but I sincerely hope that more niche titles like it make their way over here from Japan. It’s a strongly structured adventure (although some would argue it is not much more than a heavily scripted visual novel), but that is not to its detriment in my opinion.

In your role as defense attorney, you alternatingly look for clues / evidence, and then progress to the actual trial, where you cross-examine witnesses to uncover contradictions in their testimonies. While that may not sound like much, the contradictions become increasingly hard to find and the overall story (as in the crimes themselves with their motivations and their relation to each other) meshes all of that into an interesting narrative.

There are 5 cases altogether, 4 of which are ported from the Japanese GBA game, and a much longer 5th case, which was specifically written for the DS and uses many of the system’s features very well (touch-screen, microphone, 3D graphics). Overall, the game took me about 10-12h to complete, and I very much enjoyed finding clues and contradictions, although as mentioned before, the structure is very rigid and usually there is only one correct way of doing things.

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